Say farewell to stressful report cards

It is natural for parents to want to see their child excel. They want to see that their child is blossoming at school in all aspects, from behavioral to social and from academic to athletic. However, there may come a time when their child’s performance at school does not quite reach these expectations. This may be why quarterly progress reports and report cards can be stressful for all involved–and that time is fast upon us! Just in case, it is always nice to have a plan ready to go so you can help your child out based on what you see.

First Stage – How are you feeling?

Fast forward to the day you receive the report card where you see something concerning. It is understandable that you are upset or disappointed. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to try to talk to your kid or ask questions. However, fight that urge. The very first thing you must do in handling the situation is settle your own emotions. Clear your thoughts.

You do not want to go to your child looking upset or angry, so take a breather. Any negative emotion you express can be picked up by your child, make them feel bad, and worsen the situation. Take some time to let those feelings settle down because you will want to be rational and ensure your child feels comfortable talking to you in the next steps.

Now that you have collected yourself and cleared your mind, let’s tackle the problem!

Second Stage – What are these expectations?

You and your child have to be on the same page regarding standards. If you believe a B is bad but the child believes a B is great, there is a natural disconnect that will have to be settled before you move onto the next steps. Communication will be key throughout this whole process.

Before you go to your child, you should think about your own expectations. What had you expected or wanted to see in the report card? Then, figure out if your concern is actually something to be concerned about. The best way to do this is to speak with professionals, other parents, or the teachers themselves. Were your expectations too high? Were they unrealistic? Should you be patient? This is important to gauge as the problem might actually be the expectations.

After deciding your expectations were reasonable and you want to continue addressing your disappointments, approach your child. What did your child expect? Did they have any goals in mind, and if so, did these results match their own goals? At this junction, you can reveal what you had hoped to see, and then work together to figure out what standards or expectations seem right at this time for your child.

Third Stage – What is the problem?

After making sure you and your child are on the same page and both of you want to see improvement in the next report card, you have to pinpoint the issue at hand. This involves talking to your child and their teachers.

Talk to your child to see what they are struggling with. They might lack motivation or have difficulty grasping concepts, so they do not like studying for a particular class. Sometimes, students do not understand why they are having a hard time. Maybe your child does not understand how they are being graded.

Either way, it is wise to talk to the involved teacher, as well. You could ask for their insight or clarification on the issues they have seen in the classroom. Simply speaking to the teacher might open your eyes to a problem. For example, you might know that your child is more of a hands-on learner and realize from talking to the teacher that hands-on learning is harder in a classroom with thirty kids.

Fourth Stage – What is the solution?

There will not be an end-all-be-all solution, but you can certainly take steps to help your child do better the next time around. After figuring out what the issues or causes may be, you can collaborate with the child and teachers to create a plan for the expectations that you and your child agreed on in the first stage. Plans can include extra reading assignments or adjusting certain things, such as how concepts are explained.  

You can also assist with homework and studying. Figure out a method for studying that works for your child. Some children simply need extra care and attention, so you could seek outside help, like extra after-school hours with the teacher or a personalized learning program at the nearest JEI Learning Center.  

You may have to get creative, as well as revisit previous stages to figure out what works. Be patient, trust in the process, and communicate!

If you want more in-depth help, feel unsure about the problems to address, or would like to see a better report card, you can always visit the nearest JEI Learning Center. We have a whole system for helping children find the study habits and environment that work for them. With us, your child can improve study habits, build fundamentals, refine weaker skills, all while working at their own pace. Your child can take a Diagnostic Test and you can talk with the Director about what steps to take based on the results.

Otherwise, remember to stay calm and show encouragement toward your child as you both figure out a way to be happier with the progress report or report card in the next quarter! There is nothing to stress or feel discouraged about. Once you get a good handle on what you need to do, you can trust that your expectations will eventually be met. Say farewell to stressful report cards!